EU 2.0: Series Catalunya race one report
Home win for the Barcelona man On home turf, Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) got off to the best possible start to the season, taking his first win in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. After leading the race from start to finish, the man from ...
Home win for the Barcelona man
On home turf, Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) got off to the best possible start to the season, taking his first win in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. After leading the race from start to finish, the man from Barcelona crossed the line ahead of team mate Nathanael Berthon (Epsilon Euskadi). Swiss driver Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) takes the other podium spot after a close-run contest with James Calado (Fortec Motorsport) who fell victim to a puncture right at the end of the race.
The threatening sky above the Barcelona circuit was in no way going to affect the motivation levels of the thirty drivers raring to do battle at this first meeting of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season. From his enviable pole position, Albert Costa made a perfect start. Behind him, James Calado was quicker away than Nico Muller and raced into second place. Nathanael Berthon also took the opportunity to speed past Muller into third. Albert Costa set a fast pace early in the race and quickly put space between himself and the chasing drivers. James Calado was proving able to handle the pressure from Nathanael Berthon and Nico Muller, while in fifth place, Johan Jokinen (Iquick Valencia) was feeling the pressure from Antonio Felix da Costa (Motopark Academy) and Miki Monras (SG Formula).
Gradually this group was being caught up by Kevin Magnussen (Motopark Academy) and Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula). Behind Albert Costa, eight cars were practically nose to tail at this point in the race. Jean-Eric Vergne moved past Kevin Magnussen into 8th place. He then moved to take on his team mate Miki Monras. In front of his home crowd, the Spaniard wasn't going to let himself be passed. The consequence was an excursion into the gravel trap for Jean-Eric Vergne followed by Kevin Magnussen. Vergne re-entered the fray in 12th place, whereas Magnussen was forced to retire.
As always in this typically action-packed Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race, there were numerous duels throughout the field. Further back in a battle for 13th place, Carlos Munoz (Epsilon Euskadi) and Daniel de Jong (MP Motorsport) got the better of Dominic Storey (SG Formula). Meanwhile up ahead, the gap between Albert Costa and James Calado stabilized at three seconds. The British driver's third place was still under threat from attacks by Nathanael Berthon and Nico Muller. Berthon came back strong in the closing stages and pushed past Calado at the end of the start-finish straight. The Frenchman was now second. In the next lap it was Nico Muller's turn to get the better of Calado. The victim of a puncture on his right rear tire, the British driver was in the end unable to make his excellent performance count and was forced to retire.
Beyond the three leaders, Antonio Felix da Costa was still looking for an opening to get past Johan Jokinen. The Dane came unstuck in the penultimate lap and had to let Antonio Felix da Costa through. After leading from start to finish, Albert Costa claimed his first victory in Formula Renault 2.0 ahead of Nathanael Berthon, giving Epsilon Euskadi the one-two. Nico Muller came in third, making this first podium of the season a 100% first in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.
Albert Costa: "This first win couldn't have come at a better time. There's a weight off my shoulders now! I pushed hard in the first laps, then I maintained the gap. I had to stay very focused to the finish, particularly the last laps, because there was rain in some of the turns."
Nathanael Berthon: "It's my first podium in the discipline, after learning the ropes last year. We're all working toward the same goal at Epsilon Euskadi, we want to win the championship. This second place makes me want to do even better, and very soon."
Nico Muller: "I got off to a bad start. This podium finish is a little lucky for me, because I took advantage of James Calado's misfortune in the last laps. We worked a lot this winter with Jenzer Motorsport. This is a first reward for our efforts. Tomorrow it will be tougher for me, because I start from 5th place. "
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